East African governments raise concern over ageing citizens

Monday, September 19th, 2022 03:49 | By
An elderly Ugandan woman. PHOTO/Courtesy

Kenya and Tanzania governments have once again raised the red flag over the ageing East African population that is fast becoming an environmental threat.

The two countries called for joint and integrated management of environmental and water resources in a sustainable manner by conserving their ecosystem.

The environmental threats and management concerns come at a time when the rate and scale of human-induced environmental change is exceeding critical limits, raising concerns over the consequences for society.

While presiding over the 11th annual Mara Day Celebrations, Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), Secretary Dr Masinde Bwire, said they had agreed to join hands.

“Many people in the East Africa region, worry that unchecked population growth will eventually cause an environmental catastrophe,’’ Bwire said. Currently, the East African Community (EAC), region population is about 140 million people, of which about 40 million people reside within the Lake Victoria Basin.

A large population concentration lives along the lakeshore towns such as Mwanza, Mbarara, Musoma, Tanzania, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kigali, Rwanda and Entebbe, Uganda

Bwire said about 30 percent of the EAC population live in the rural areas, while about 40 percent reside in urban towns.

As a result of the rapid population growth, the basin has experienced intense pressure in managing its natural resources due to increased human activities that are compromising the environmental sanity. Given that the basin is significant as it contributes to food nutrition and food security through agricultural and fish production, joint solutions are key to address the ecological risks.       

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